WITH the regional market for brown sugar very competitive, if trade tariffs are properly applied they will drive prices down. That’s the contention of a Central American producer.
But Belize has accused Trinidad and Tobago of failing to apply the common external tariff (CET) tax on brown sugar imported from outside the region from November 2018-June 2020.
Over two days, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is hearing a complaint by Belize claiming TT breached the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas by failing to apply the CET of 40 per cent on imports of brown sugar from Guatemala and Honduras.
The CET is a single tariff rate agreed to by all members of Caricom on imports of a product from outside the Caribbean Community. Goods imported from third countries are subject to the duties listed in the CET, but goods imported from Caricom countries, certified to be of Caricom origin, do not generally attract these import duties. They enjoy duty-free status.
Belize also included St Kitts and Nevis in its lawsuit. However, in January those two countries settled the trade dispute over brown sugar, according to reports.
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